Sunday, September 25, 2011

And 2 weeks later we are back to normal life...

I dont want to continue to dwell only on IM Wisconsin, but i do have to say it was a pretty big deal for me. Not in how i finished or in how or how i placed or even what  my time was but in the fact that it's been awhile since i did something I DIDNT THINK I COULD DO. Now granted. I " thought" i could cover the distance. But partly bc of my profession and partly bc of the work needed I did at times DOUBT question my body and its ability to do this.

This snowy awful freezing cold too much snow from october to april winter I had my doubts. I had the wonderful support of not only my husband but some blog friends ( ER!) and of course this crazy lady:

Yes I know she is going to love me for posting this:
She put this on her blog and i taped it to my mirror. The date is in March, right about when i was feeling pretty overwelmed with winter ( or whatever you want to call it when you have snow on the ground for 6 + months) and some injuries. I also had struggled all fall with glute med tendon issues from the end of a great summer ( again this is all 2010) and didnt run until january. and at that point i was running on the TM or on snowy icey yuk. It did a number on my head even tho my body seemed to be healing but at its own pace.

I love this poem/saying. I have had it up on my mirror before, during tennis seasons and what not, but it came at a great time and it really helped me DAILY to remember that what is happening today...Isnt going to be what is happening in a week if I was smart. There were, as there always seem to be, some days and some weeks where Coach had to tell me " nope, do nothing the TP is a plan, we change it if we need to." I sometimes had to go and delete the " fun!" that was written in there bc It killed me to not do some of the wko's bc my body wasnt ready. I never run tested last winter ( hehehe) but secretly that was hard too. I would take a run test over a bike test TODAY!

So my point is that getting to that start line was huge. I can attribute it to a few things:
*CORE STRENGTH and ALOT MORE GLUTE work than i have ever done..I saw my PT every 3-4 weeks as needed. Sometimes it was for mobs and sometimes it was just to tweek my HEP and catch up on things ( my PT is awesome and i LOVE HER!)

*SLEEP, yes I got at least 8 hours.

*PATIENCE, yup...patience.

* DIET.....And sorry but i cant say it was bc I had this puritan and clean diet. I mean i ate well. But i also decided that for IM training and even half iron or ANY training i need to eat. I have had my issues with eating disorders and someday maybe i will share all that, but i do know that what got me healthy thru that was knowing i had to fuel my body and if i wanted to play tennis competitively ever again i had to eat. So taking this forward to this summer, I ate. Yah i didnt eat nearly enough Dairy Queen for Cheryl's liking but i did, i ate pretty much everything. Heavy on the Almond Butter and i also really upped my protein intake but not at the expense of eating grains and oats and bagels and rice and sweet potatoes. Not a huge pasta fan but you get the point. Not the time to try to slim down or get ripped.

*COACH and Friends and family that supported me...So much fun to do this training. I seriously cant see doing IM training alone. Yea i did my long runs alone, for the most part but my sister and some friends often  met me along the route, and of course i had my hubby to ride with and friends /co-inmates of JHC to banter and see at Dairyland Dare and the Verona ride. Its easy to get withdrawn and think only about your sore __________( fill in the blank) so training and haveing those people to bounce ideas off of or compare Estim with was amazing.

Ok this is getting way too long and my initial intention of writing about my 2 weeks off has gotten lost. So anyways i did nothing for 2 weeks. I took a walk, I let some niggles heal up ( my arch hurt, thought maybe i had a 1st or 2nd Met stress fx but i have no terrible triad going so i knew it would heal) and it did,,,I went to the lake and froze ( and realized you peeps that did CDA and swan in 58 deg water? wow, no go for me) and then i rode my road bike sunday and my glute is sore! Go figure. I did a super easy jog today, 45 minutes, no idea how far bc i just ran. Lets just say I think a 5k is going to hurt a ton this fall bc my legs are pretty happy in the slow mo mode!

So here a few more pics from race day: Still makes me laugh and smile...
this is my friend, i have no idea who he is but CY took this and it cracked me up.
 Here is my sore toe, i may need to get those little guys into the actually doesnt hurt! And no its not gangrene.
 This swim start still makes me cringe. I think i may rethink my start position for next year.
Yes I said next year.
 These tu-tu'd guys made me laugh.
 Here are my true sherpas. They are awesome and i am so thankful for their support.
 Here is Rich hanging in the street, after he decorated it with Good luck Toots and with my sacred word: TRUST. Sadly i didnt see it:) oops. And usually i havent been putting Rich on the blog, but he deserves it this time. Last year we had some bad people use my blog to hurt him and i just decided not to put him in here, but this time he deserves it. I am the luckiest girl around:)

And after the weekend in Madison? We went to Philly for some work and some play. Here i am with my pet dog? Cool sculpture. My cousin is the president of the College of Natural History so we saw some cool things, ate some amazing sushi and then topped it off with awesome ice cream. It was a great addition to my weeks off!

And in closing ( sigh, finally i know) I have made more apple crisp, cleaned out closets and even started to look at 2012 races. Despite being on a hiatus from TP and from training its fun to think about next spring and how to escape winter. It's not here yet but its never far from my mind ( insert JAW's theme song) its coming.....
PS and all you skiers, i have the utmost respect for you. Go for it. I hate being cold.. end of story.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bike and Run

Ok I started the ride super conservative. I had been told i would get passed right and left, and yes, that is what happened. Coming out of the water i felt good, i started my fueling plan right away and even added in a banana from aid station one. Things were fine, i felt good, if not a bit too slow but i hoped that all i had been told was right. The crowds were awesome. The ride felt good, and as i started to feel more confident i started to push a bit harder, but all within my boundaries. The first loop of Verona I took SUPER conservative. I couldnt remember for sure some of the sweeping turns, and it appears from the road rash that others didnt remember them either. So it wasnt til the 2nd loop that i bombed down the Garfoot road and a few others. My Garmin read 54.5 mph for my max speed. That is a record if its true. Then again my Garmin sometimes says i ran a 4 min mile so I am not sure i am buying it.

I did pass a ton of people on the back half and felt SO strong. All seemed to be going just fine. My Left calf felt a bit tight, even during the swim i was trying to plantar flex and dorsi flex it but everytime i stood ot try to stretch it it felt fine. so i just sorta shrugged it off. My Left upper trap felt like it was on fire, and i am sure it was, it felt like a sunburn, but i had a jersey on so it wasnt that. Just muscle burn. The balls of my feet hurt. But heck this was all just random stuff. The only "issue" i had was the tops to the PERFORM bottles kept poppingoff, leaving Gretta getting a wet shower of sugar, so i got a bit bummed at that, and of course i would hit a railroad tracks and then it would go everywhere.

Got back into town, road up the helix ( that is evil) and was reminded to not get out of my shoes til the top. I did a flying dismount VERY CAREFULLY since my feet seemed to want to maybe not remember how to hit the ground but it was fine. Handed Gretta off and went to change!

T2 was speedy, i think the extra minute for sunscreen and a long pee were well worth it. I was happy with what i chose to wear and my legs seemed to be spinning along fine. I made sure to not run too fast, even if the first few miles seem downhill i was totally being careful. miles 1-4 are easy no matter what so lets make them easier. I took a gel at around mile 3 and another salt stick and...

WHAM. Door slams.

I started to immediately get nauseated. I figured i just needed to run it off. But it just got worse. I cant even tell you much more about that run. I dont remember when the walking started but i know i ran with a 2nd gel klutched in my hand until about mile 13 when i knew i couldnt take it.

I tried clif shot blox, ugh, bad...then i tried a few powergel blasts, ugh again. I choked them down and felt worse. I kept taking water at the aid stations and ice bc i started to feel really really hot. It was a dry heat, so i didnt feel like i couldnt breathe it just felt hot. ice was going in my hat my top my shorts and around mile 14 i had the first feeling that the shoes were wet and my big toe calluses were slipping around and it felt like i had a needle in there. I sorta just blocked that out.

I ran by Jen on State Street and said DAMAGE CONTROL, and she said "that is fine!" so i felt ok about this even if i didnt really feel OK:) Some good things are that i kept moving forward, i really didnt feel l had to walkuntil i started really getting GI cramps and also knew i needed to TRY to get something in me. So coke it was. Coke and ice chips. But it was hot bubbly Pepsi. How disappointed:) At one point a kid handed me a cup and i said " what is it ?" realizing it was a cup of potatoe chips. yuk!

The fans were amazing, my stomach was starting to gurgle, i could hear it like it was sloshy and i didnt feel bloated if anything i felt like my abdomen under my sternum near my diaphragm was tender and hard. And of course then my Left arm started to hurt so i had to really keep that thought out of my head. Its funny how you go to places like that. It wasnt dark, per se, but it wasnt positive either. Then when i started telling myself that this race goes against EVERYTHING i preach as a Physical Therapist who works in wellness and preventive exercise i knew i needed to do a 180 on the mind talk:) I felt good in my legs and all my strength and core work from the summer was paying off, i had no reason to walk other than to get my stomach ok and to try to take in Kcals, my legs were slowly feelign the effects of no fuel but overall I did not have any musculoskeletal issues so i just kept plugging along. When i was running i felt pretty ok. So hey, I will take what i can get.

Running down that finishing chute was the best thing EVER. Kate told me to make sure to raise my hands over my head, and so i did, and i high fived people! I had convinced myself to smile that entire last 13 miles, and to tell myself i was fine and good, so i wanted a picture that showed that. Ooops. I took my hands down too soon and my finisher pic looks like a robot with rigor mortis in the upper body:)

The Post race was a blur. You dont need to know nor do you want to know, but lets just say I went down pretty fast and Rich got my head downd, medical came over and rich said my pulse was strong and we were good. I have to thank my sister who helped me clean up afterwards ( TMI) and I think there may be some new lulu shorts in my future. My good friend STeve who got me drinks and laughed at me, even tho i was appalled at my post race condition, and Rich's daughter Emily who came all the way up from Chicago for the day with her cowbell. I am sorry i didnt get a massage from her! Anyone of you who lives in Chicago, drop me a note, she is a great LMT!!! You need to see her!

Overall I cant ask for a bettter day. The swim was scary, the ride was great, the run i had legs for but i think i had too much sodium. Live and learn.

And as of today I can walk stairs, i finally was able to eat again tuesday ( yea it was bad) and now i am happily eating anything in sight.

So that is all i have for ya. I need to let Triathlon take a rest for a few weeks here, but looking forward to some more fun in 2012.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pre race and Swim

Ok sorry to make this into a long drawn out post, and i am not trying to hook you in, but i have so much stuff to do ( funny how that built up all summer, wonder why?) i am going to break this up. I have scattered pics, and many have been on FB so you may not get as many fun pics.

Pre race: I would certainly say I was exhausted pre race! I didnt have a great taper. Everyone kept saying i would feel like a million bucks, but i didnt. I felt cranky and tired and struggled to get to the pool to swim a 2500 M set.  Since i swim LCM in the summer i wanted to suddenly trade that in for a short pool. And a warm pool! We lost summer pretty quick the first week of september. The one good thing about taper was the US OPEN tennis. I had dreams of being done with my IM and sitting in the stands ( not walking, of course, having someone carry me) watching tennis. I had a little VMO flare up. My medial quad decided that the short and fast efforts were really not appropriate after doing 100+ rides on hilly courses, this flat and fast stuff was just not right. So that put a bit of a red flag up till it calmed down. I have had that before so i knew that a few days of no riding and the right treatment would be fine. None the less it made for some anxiety. People told me that if i didnt have some " pseudo " injury in taper i wasnt normal:) so true.

We drove to Madison friday AM, stood in a way too long line to register ( over 90 minutes) and then by the time i got to the hotel friday night i could barely move i was so tired. IT was raining at flushing meadow so my plans for a tv night were dashed. So we hit State Street for some Pizza and hung out watching one of my faves, with Sandra Bullock...the Proposal. Sleep was not good that night, i had the pre race " lets go thru the entire race plan in my head..." going and the replay button just kept going and going.
I had so much anxiety about the swim i knew i just had to get in that water and swim, no matter where i started i was going to get some beatings. So finally saturday night i sorta slept, at least i wasnt playing the race in my head:)

So race morning came and i was ready! I did all the stuff i need to do, and I was so lucky to meet Michelle ( Rural Girl, no rolldown girl)and hang out pre race. We had met up to swim saturday and then we had bumped into each other race morning. It was meant to be. It was her 6th? IM?I think. so she talked me thru alot and helped me time my dressing, and all that. I just followed her around like a new kid at school.

As it got closer to the race we walked down to the lake and saw Jenny and Jerome. That was a nice break and a nice way to start my first IM. Then we went to the lake and procrastinated till it looked like the inevitable was about to happen. I had to get in and find a spot.

I decided to start a bit Right, and in the front. I mean it. FRONT. As the people got in the water it was amazing to me, i didnt want to look back, but the space was getting very tight. More and more men, many many green caps, and so few pink caps. I wanted the women to come around me and unite! I asked a woman next to me her expected time and said "If you are going under 60, get ahead of me."
She said " no i think 1:15." I was thinking...??? why are you in the front row?

Suddenly after some dude was groping me, the cannon fired and we were off. It was just as i expected.
I cant explain it, but there was nowhere to go, I had been in the front or close to it about 2 min before the cannon and now i was suddenly in a sea of green caps. How did i get back so far? Even if i had wanted to hammer there was no hammering to be done, it was suddenly a total doggy paddle, breathe and try not to panic race. I got into "Just get thru this" mode. If i was able to put my head down for 1-2 strokes i could breathe but after what felt like 15 minutes of head out doggy paddle i was drinking water and just trying to not get kicked. Suddenly some open water appeared and i would go there. Then it would get congested with green caps.AGAIN. The first turn buoy was madness. I didnt go Vertical but i did take a few head pounds from a big green capped arm till i seriously yelled at the top of my lungs " DUDE, STOP, YOU ARE HURTING ME." it stopped:)

I know nobody means to hurt anyone, and other than that one outburst i really tried my hardest to know that the swim was like this for everyone. Its not a personal assault against me. As we turned to come back the other side i had some water, and I had gotten inside the buoys, this was awesome. I still had some navigation but overall i was swimming:) When i was nearing the end of the 1st lap i heard the flyover for 9/11. I was amazed that it was 7:30 am, so my time was not that bad. I had given up hope that i would go under 1:10. But i guess taking a beating meant i was also getting a draft.

I rounded the turn buoy for the 2nd lap and actually felt hot. I was comfortable and really swimming in my zone. I dont know what my split was and it doesnt matter, i found feet that seemed to be going straight and then they would stall and i would motor on. I was able to do some pick ups to get thru tight spaces of green caps, and was able to get on some good feet ( with neoprene booties, really? it was hot in there!) for most of the back side of the last lap. Coming into the final turn i was so happy. I had survived.
I hadnt intended to look at the clock, but it is RIGHT there so when i saw 1:06:xx I was so happy!
I got stripped then did the calf workout up the helix to T1.
Lots of great pictures from Terry Lee and Yndecam, here is one i found which cracks me up. At least i look like i am doing a crunch:)

T1 was dresssed, out the door, and to my bike. It's a LONG transition, so lotsa running in barefeet. But i was off on the bike and down the helix and started my ride knowing i had done a great swim.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

IM Wisconsin, the short version

So wow. I will update this more when i have time, its been a crazy return to home since the race. I now realize why people go to an IM earlier than they think they need to, bc its nuts. I thought 70.3's were crazy, this was insane. But I am so happy with how it went overall, and in true Julia fashion I have had to step back and enjoy the good of the day and not focus on the "what I can do better next times." 

The volunteers, the weather, the venue, my friends and family, all of it was just amazing. I couldnt have asked for anything more ..other than not having major stomach issues after about mile 6. But I digress, and learned that IM is not about one mile, or one gel or one bottle or one stomach ache. It's about putting it all together and figuring out how to make it work. 

I will do my best to write a good blog on this soon, as of today i can finally eat again:) YAY. And my energy is coming back. Nothing is planned officially for 2012, but i will say this. When i finished, and as I was "resting" as my sister told my parents ( ha) I told Rich this was miserable and I was never doing it again. 

This morning I called him at work to ask him if he would divorce me if i signed up again.